Gov. Nathan Deal is planning to start September with a beer at Left Nut Brewing Co.
Deal will join local elected officials at the brewery on Atlanta Highway to ring in Georgia’s new law allowing direct sales of beer, from pints to cases, at breweries.
The law was approved in the most recent session of the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Deal. It’s being celebrated as a major step forward for Georgia breweries.
On Sept. 1, the brewery will have live music, food trucks and one-off beer brewed for the event, Left Nut Brewing owner Pap Datta announced Wednesday.
The event runs from noon to 10 p.m. Deal will make an appearance later in the afternoon, according to Datta.
The business owner is calling it a new era for Georgia breweries, heretofore restricted to selling tours of their facilities and offering “samples” of their beer. Almost all of Georgia-made packaged beer is distributed to wholesalers, but that will change come September.
Georgia Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Nancy Palmer has said the law change is a watershed moment for breweries.
“It’s absolutely monumental,” Palmer told The Times in May, noting that the Peach State is the last in the nation to allow direct sales of beer at breweries.
Georgia brewers have been hamstrung by the restriction, forced to open large plants early in their existence so that they could sell enough beer through middlemen to stay afloat.
“I think for a few of our breweries, it’s going to be life-changing,” Palmer said. “… With the lower barrier to entry, we’re going to see a lot more breweries open with smaller ambitions, at least initially, and a lot more breweries opening in smaller towns.”
Left Nut Brewing opened in 2013 in Gainesville and is Hall County’s only brewery. Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan, along with the rest of the Gainesville City Council, will be present for the Sept. 1 event celebrating the law change.
“Just as with the state’s wine industry, craft breweries are becoming travel destinations, and tourists from within and outside (Georgia) are seeking out breweries to enjoy the local flavors and offerings unique to each brewery,” Datta said in his Wednesday announcement.
Customers will be able to find the beer they like “without having to hunt down locations where those products may be sold,” he said.
The Gainesville City Council updated its own code on Tuesday to track with state law and allow the local brewery to sell beer directly to customers.
All of Left Nut’s year-round beers will be available along with two special brews, a peach wheat beer called “Nit Witt” and a New England-style IPA named “Kid’s Got Moxy.” The list of food trucks present for the event is still being finished, Datta said.
Left Nut Brewing operates from the former Johnson and Johnson Chicopee Mill at 2100 Atlanta Highway.